You are the owner of this article.
DAY 2.jpg

The ‘Boy Scout’ joins forces with a hardened con to plot a way out of the Nebraska State Penitentiary – and succeeds

  • 0
  • 11 min to read

Leslie Arnold's mug shot from his arrival at Nebraska penitentiary on June 9, 1959.


Leslie Arnold plays with a band in prison as part of a self betterment activity in the late 1960s.

John Greenholtz

Nebraska Penitentiary Deputy Warden John Greenholtz


Jim Harding being read charges after arrest on May 27, 1959.

Personal ad

An ad in the personals section of The World-Herald signaled the go ahead for the escape plan for Leslie Arnold and Jim Harding.


From left: The trusties’ bunk room at the State Penitentiary in Lincoln in the 1960s; the trusties' dayoom; a 1969 photo of the penitentiary’s perimeter fencing, similar to what Leslie Arnold and Jim Harding scaled to escape.


Law Enforcement officials search for escapees Leslie Arnold and Jim Harding on July 18, 1967.

Prison wall

The Nebraska Penitentiary in 1970.

Reporter - Metro News

Henry is a general assignment reporter, but his specialty is deep dives into state issues and public policy. He's also into the numbers behind a story, yet to meet a spreadsheet he didn't like. Follow him on Twitter @HenryCordes. Phone: 402-444-1130.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.

Your sports-only digital subscription does not include access to this section.

Upgrade to full digital for only $3 extra per month. If you need assistance, call us at (844) 466-1452 or e-mail

To start a new subscription or to add digital access to your print subscription, click Sign Up to join Subscriber Plus.

If you’re already a digital subscriber, Log In.

If you need other assistance, call (844) 466-1452 or email

Learn more about Subscriber Plus.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.



Breaking News

Huskers Breaking News